Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Double Army Painting Update

Hey there, Internet. I've been plugging away again at some painting projects. For one reason or another, I've gotten the Eldar bug again. I played Eldar a while back, lost four games in a row terribly then put them back up on the shelf. This was about a year and half ago. The issue I think was that I wasn't playing to the Eldar strengths by having the army support each other. The Tau list that I played required a certain amount of synergy to be successful. If I can take those skills and tactics, I think I can apply them to Eldar with some modifications.

Anywho, painting. The models that really set the Eldar apart for me were the Wraithguard and Wraithlords. My starting army had three lords and a small 4 man guard unit. I'm now up to the full 10 man Wraithguard unit with Warlock to make them a troop choice.
I'm working on the original 5 man unit to start.

They start out with a solid black base coat (courtesy of Black Gesso), then coat the whole model with Astronomicon Grey. I do a really rough stipple/dry brush on all the top facing surfaces with White then wash the entire thing in Vallejo Smoke. Vallejo Smoke comes out super super thick so I add a lot of water to it. Why Smoke instead of Devlin Mud or even an oil wash of Sienna? Smoke has this really nice dirty quality to it that does some solid weathering without a lot of effort.

From there its got to dry for a while. Take some Desert Yellow (one of my new favorite colors) and put down some base colors on the top facing surfaces again. The Smoke layer is now your shadow colors. Allowing a little bit of that edge to be seen gives it a great chipped up effect. Heavy dry brush some Bone color, and follow up with White for the best contrast. Done. The gun was done up with some watered down Chardon Granite then washed black. The head is just straight black for now but it'll be getting some attention soon.

My other army, the Raptor Legion, has just received a nice shot in the arm for base colors. The Vallejo Surface primer painted on looks just like the olive green I'm aiming for. Pictured here, you got 5 Terminators, 10 Tacticals, 10 Assualts without jump packs, 5 Assault Termies, and a Baal Predator. All done within about an hour or so.

The Surface Primer brings the primer and base coat to the table so you save a lot of time overall.
Here's a close up of one the Assault Terminators with a resin sheild from MaxMini or Scibor, I can't recall.

Close shot of the Predator.


I apologize for the image quality. During the move, I found my camera but the battery died and the charger is still missing. As soon as I track it down, I'll try to do a tutorial or two so you can see my process.

Until next time, have a safe Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getcha' Rats Here!

The bell tolls for my Skaven. Yes, after countless battles and many victories, it's time I said goodbye to the little ratmen. Since I moved recently, I've been weighing in on my collections of stuff and make decisions on what I actually use. The Skaven have been on the shelf for almost a year now and I have no desire to swing back to them. So, instead of giving away the army like I did with my Empire, I'm putting it up for sale. I want to make sure that its going to someone who is going to use it, because its a nice army.

I'll be breaking everything down here and if you are interested, you can contact me at impossibleblock (at) about pricing. If you want more photos of the units or characters, I can do that too. These guys are taking up space that can be used for my other interests. Priced to move here, people.

If you feel weird about money exchanges, I am looking for Eldar stuff and Space Marine stuff. If you got something I might be interested in for a trade, just shoot me an e-mail.

Everything is fully painted (including those yellow eyes) and based. I can also break up things, like the big units I can make smaller (instead of 50 rats, two units of 25, etc.). Without further ado, my Skaven:

Army wide shot (not pictured: two Doomwheels

A unit of about 20 to 25 Clanrats

30 rat block of Giant Rats of Many Colors, 4 packmaster including the Character Packmaster

Big block of 50 clanrats

Block of 24~25 Plague Monks

10 Plague Censer Bearers (these guys are awesome BTW)

My two commanders: one with an Ogre Mount, the other on a Warlitter

5 Plague Wind Globes (I think I have another 8 or so unpainted)

More character: the BSB, Rat-hound mount, and Warplock Engineer

10 Gutter Runners, converted from Plague Monks

And a Screaming Bell/Plague Furnance that's been magnetized fully

There are a few things that are not pictured: I also have two Doomwheels, a converted Warpfire Thrower, a Rattling Gun, and an pretty much a whole Island of Blood set that is un-built.

Rather than list a price, if you're interested, shoot me an offer. I'm willing to haggle. I have a price in mind but it's geared to sell so I can make space. I can also break up the sets if you just need like 5 rats for whatever reason. Contact me at impossibleblock (at) for more details. Thanks everybody.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Priming in Winter

Primer. Love it or hate it, it's one of those essential evils of the hobby. When I first started, I learned the hard way multiple times about the difference between painting on primed and un-primed models. The first arguement is whether you even need to prime certain models, e.g. plastic and resin. My answer is a flat "yeah, you should be priming, bro." The issue that comes up time and time again is if you have good environmental factors to prime in. Here in Northern Virginia, we just got our first snow. A minor dusting but enough to trigger Christmas decor to spring out at local stores all over the area.

Having primed outside in snow, it doesn't give you good results. So with winter right around the corner, what is a hobbyist to do? Here's a quick run down to just regular spray paint that I have found useful:

black gold!

Gesso is a classic art tool to help painters prime canvas for paint. This stuff is great. I love it. I think I paid maybe 10 bucks for it a while back. It comes in Black and White. The only trick with Gesso is that it can be super thick. I usually shake it up, open the lid, and use the flipped over lid to get the material out. I always dip the brush in water a few times to transfer it over to the gesso to cut it a bit, but if you over do it, it'll be straight water on the model and won't grip. If you go straight on to the model with the gesso, there's a chance you'll obscure the details, which is no fun for anyone.

The best quality of gesso is that you get an amazing tooth to the surface. Tooth describes the ability of a surface to grab the paint. Typically you hear this term to describe canvas or paper.

If I use gesso to prime a model, right after I get the first coat of paint across the model, I seal the base in with a varnish. Matt and stain typically, but sometimes a glossy one is called for. It just ensures that you don't end up straching the coats off. Here is the major draw back: if you prime with gesso, unlike spray paint which binds to the plastic/metal/resin, you can strach it off with your finger nails.

Surface Primer by Vallejo
image from the internets

I picked this stuff up at a local hobby shop. It's recommended to use the surface primer through an airbrush, which you can use almost straight away. I like to cut it a little with water, just to give it a little give. Spray it on, looks like the model came out of the box that color. What I enjoy about it is you can get it in different colors. I have it in dark grey, white, and german drab green. The green color is almost spot on for Catachan Green, which is great for my Raptor Legion army. If you don't have an airbrush, you don't need one! Painting this stuff on with a brush works very well. But watch out. The brush you use will get a little gummy, but if you clean it out right after, you'll be set.

This stuff binds really well to the surfaces and doesn't block much detail from the model, unlike the gesso if it goes on real thick.

Those are my two recommendations if you can't prime outside due to weather conditions. Winter is a good time to paint and hobby because it's crappy out. So get some models, paint, and supplies (beer) and get tucked in for the snow. Until next time, folks and folkettes.